Usher has responded for the first time to accusations he exposed sex partners to genital herpes, filing a legal document containing a broad denial without actually specifying whether he has or had the sexually transmitted disease.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Usher once settled a lawsuit after a woman became forward claiming he gave her herpes. Shortly after details of the 2012 settlement came public, multiple sexual partners filed a lawsuit claiming he neglected to mention his diagnosis before engaging with them sexually.
Their lawyer, Lisa Bloom, has said at one of the three carries the virus.
Usher has not confirmed that he has the STD.
His lawyers on Tuesday (Sep 5) filed an answer to a lawsuit brought last month in Los Angeles Superior Court by Quantasia Sharpton and an unnamed man and unnamed woman who claim to have been Usher’s sexual partners.
Usher is seeking to have their lawsuit dismissed, citing a “general denial” of its allegations and 13 more specific reasons why he claims the suit has no merit.
“Usher Raymond IV general and specifically denies each and every allegation contained in the complaint and the entirety thereof, including each purported cause of action contained therein,” his legal team filed a response to the lawsuit.
His reasons include legal technicalities, such as the statute of limitations, lack of standing by plaintiffs, the improper joining of plaintiffs in one suit, insufficient facts, and failure to meet legal standards.
But the singer also argues that any of his alleged conduct was “unintentional,” and that the plaintiffs themselves have “unclean hands.” This means that a plaintiff is not entitled to a remedy because the plaintiff has acted unethically or in bad faith in some way.
“Plaintiffs are barred from recovery for alleged willful conduct by Defendant because any alleged conduct by Defendant, which is expressly denied, was unintentional,” the singer’s response says.
Usher asserted that he “was not the cause of any alleged harm” suffered by the plaintiffs and that the plaintiffs “assumed the risk” of any alleged harm.
The lawsuit should be dismissed, Usher argues, “because any harm that any plaintiff alleges to have suffered was caused in whole or in part by that plaintiff’s own negligence.” He does not specify the nature of the alleged negligence.
Usher’s four-page response to the Sharpton lawsuit is his first official statement about the case since Sharpton and her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, announced their pursuit of the singer (full name Usher Raymond IV) for allegedly not disclosing an STD diagnosis prior to sexual contact.
“Usher’s lawyers filed a standard legal answer. We look forward to taking Usher’s deposition soon and to proving our case in court,” Bloom said in a statement to media reporters.
At a press conference last month, Sharpton said she does not have herpes. However, she claimed there are “others” who do but are too embarrassed to say so publicly.
“I am doing this so that he does not do this to anyone else,” she said, urging the singer to reveal his status.
“Usher, if you are negative, please say so. If you are positive, you need to warn your sex partners, so that they can make their own informed decisions.”
The Sharpton lawsuit, which does not specify how much the plaintifs are seeking in damages, asserts that Usher contracted herpes before his encounters with the plaintiffs. Bloom said those happened after 2012.
The three plaintiffs are suing Usher for damages over alleged sexual battery, fraud, negligence and infliction of emotional distress.